I think it’s safe to say that a lot of guys out there would love to have Halle Berry smile and introduce herself. Celebs get pestered for autographs all the time, but to have one instead approach you, especially when she’s a lovely sex symbol such as Berry, that’s the sort of anecdote you’d be driving your friends crazy with for decades. So imagine that you find yourself in that exact situation, with Berry beaming at you and telling you she’s a fan…except she thinks you’re Michael Dorn. And when you politely tell her she’s mistaken, she…doesn’t take it well. Such was the sad fate that befell comics writer Dwayne McDuffie at an early screening of Star Trek VI back in 1991.
The surreal story was recently recounted on the late McDuffie’s official website, and it’s one for the ages. See, McDuffie was invited by a friend to see Star Trek VI early. The only problem was, his friend didn’t actually have a pass for him. Nevertheless, McDuffie managed to sneak in and hunker down inside the theater. He’s trying to be low-key, because he obviously doesn’t want to get kicked out. That’s when Halle Berry and another lady sit down in the row in front of him. It would have just been a cool star sighting for McDuffie, but the pair of them kept looking back at him and giggling. Finally, Berry turns around and introduces herself, telling “Mr. Dorn” that she’s a fan and has always had a huge crush on him.
A less scrupulous guy might have taken the mistaken identity and run with it, but McDuffie just tells her that she was mistaken. She frowns and says he doesn’t have to lie. He insists, again, that he really, truly is not Michael Dorn. She insists right back that he is clearly Michael Dorn, and says she doesn’t know why he’s acting this way. Once again, McDuffie swears, honest to gosh, he is not Michael Dorn.
The movie finally starts. McDuffie thinks this whole uncomfortable episode might be over. No such luck.
The movie begins. Everyone is watching…
…when Halle Berry turns around again.
I can’t believe I had a crush on you! You’re a real jerk, you know that?
Everyone in the balcony is now watching Halle Berry and Dwayne.
I AM NOT MICHAEL DORN!
YOU BETTER NOT BE IN THIS MOVIE! I SWEAR, YOU BETTER NOT BE IN THIS MOVIE!
Unfortunately for McDuffie, Michael Dorn is in that movie, playing a Klingon attorney who represents Kirk and Bones during their trial. So at this point Berry obviously realizes her mistake and apologizes to McDuffie for causing such a sce — no, we’re kidding. Instead she leaps to her feet, points at McDuffie, and starts screaming that she knew he was in the movie and that he is a huge phony. Then she and her friend storm out.
The good news? McDuffie at least got to watch the rest of the movie in peace.
But that story is surpassed by the coda that happened years later, while McDuffie was writing for the animated series Justice League Unlimited. Michael Dorn was in studio to voice Kalibak. So McDuffie pulls Dorn aside at one point and tells him the story. McDuffie apologizes for destroying Berry’s crush, thus ensuring that Dorn will probably never get a date with the stunning actress.
Once the tale is told, Dorn switches into his Worf voice and bellows, “I’ve killed men for less than that!”